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Foreign Affairs

Part of Orders of the Day — Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1961.

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Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley 12:00 am, 31st July 1961

We are not dealing with these matters alone. We deal with them with our allies. It is only right that we should discuss them with our allies, as my noble Friend is going to do. We shall co-ordinate our policy with them. Therefore, the House will not expect me to say anything in advance about these discussions or about the form or timing of any contact with the Soviet Union which might be made. Of course, we shall listen to the views which the House has to put forward. That is the purpose of a debate of this kind, but it is not the purpose, before we go into negotiations, if there be negotiations, for Her Majesty's Government to put forward views on a whole variety of matters which may be raised either here or elsewhere.

I suggest to the House that in the meantime we have a threefold purpose: first of all, to do our best to ensure that our people fully understand the issues involved; secondly, to make it plain that we are prepared to talk and negotiate about these problems, and, thirdly, to be strong enough to deter unilateral action and to defend our rights in Berlin and all that depends on them.